FP Book Club: What Are You Reading Right Now?

Confessions of a serial book hoarder…

For unknown reasons, it took me until last week to finally — finally! — get a library card here in Philly. That’s a lie actually, I know exactly why it took me so long…I am a serial book hoarder. Shocking, but true. I’ll check five books out at a time and read each one, only to watch them languish on my kitchen table for the next five months. A tidy stack of literary guilt staring me in the face every day before I walk out the door, shielding my eyes so as not to see them. After paying a rather hefty fine before moving from my last city to Philadelphia, well, it took some time to heal from those library-induced wounds…the librarian refusing to make eye contact with me as I wrote out the check, surreptitiously handing it to her before hurrying out the door, never to return. But I’m back, guys, and I’m reading. And it feels great. I even returned a book before its due date, just to prove I could do it.

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After reading several more meditative books for the FP Book Club last year, I’m taking a bit of a break and delving back into my favorite genre, the murder/mystery. I’m a sucker for something dark and twisty, zigging this way before zagging unexpectedly that way. Last week I tore through Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects in three days; this week, I’m nearly done with her second book, Dark Places. I expect to finish by Friday, just in time to spend the first weekend of February nose deep in The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (I loved The Secret History, so I’m greatly looking forward to this next one).

Clearly, my must-read list is lengthy, and growing by the day, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more. I’m always curious to know what others are reading: are you a murder/mystery fan like me? Maybe you’re obsessed with historical fiction, or have you just picked up a new cookbook that doubles as your nightly reading? (Truth: I’ve been known to read cookbooks in bed.) I’d love to know the literature that you just can’t put down, what’s on your must-read list for 2016, or the books you loved reading in 2015. Please share in the comments!

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Comments

  1. My favorite book I read was The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I’m a Gaiman fan anyway, but I’m especially a sucker for painfully beautiful prose. It was this quote that pricked my heart enough to make me re-read the book only a few months later:

    “Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences. I was a child, which meant that I knew a dozen different ways of getting out of our property and into the lane, ways that would not involve walking down our drive.”

  2. Sorry, I also meant to add that I am horrible about checking out books at the library too! I do return them on time, but I tend to bite off more than I can chew and never get to read them. :( So I have started to limit myself to 3. But! If I get 30 pages in and find myself not enjoying the book, I set it aside. Ain’t nobody got time to finish books that are not good.

    For recommended reading, last year I picked up Euphoria by Lily King and couldn’t put it down! I have since picked up two other books by her and they were both stunning as well, so I definitely recommend Lily King!

  3. My two favorite books of all time are The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.

    If you’re into mysteries, definitely check out the Stephanie Plum series – my favorite book series (It starts with One for the Money). I find myself laughing out loud reading them.

    Happy reading!

    http://fabulosityfactor.blogspot.com

  4. I’m in the middle of reading East of Eden by Steinbeck and it is a great read! It starts out a bit slow as he introduces a wide variety of characters and then it comes together. The moment the characters began to intertwine with another, I could not put the book down. It’s a great book for those who are into taking their time when reading a book.

  5. Was She Pretty? by Leanne Shapton. This is one of my all time favorite books and is perfect for the “I never manage to finish a book” gal. Its actually a comic in that it is filled with beautiful and simple drawings. The doodles seem to mirror the short and poetic way the writer catches what dating and a love life is now. It is a collection of every strange or weird thought that comes into your head when you start a relationship, and shows the absurdity of the resentment we can hold on that person that dated your lover before you did. An absolute must for the book collector and perfect timing for Valentines Day!!

  6. I just finished Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman. Although it’s very strange with random short stories running through, it was quite awesome. I’m never disappointed by any of Neil Gaimans books. I’m about to start On the road by Jack Kerouac. I’m hoping it’s as good as it sounds. I’m pretty guilty of renting out way too many books from the library then owing a hefty amount of money cause I forget to return them.

  7. If you like dark and twisty then anything by Chuck Palahniuk is a must, he’s an amazing author! Definitely check out “Lullaby” and “Invisible Monsters”, they both have an incredible twist and will keep you reading from start to finish :)

  8. I’m not reading anything at the moment because I’ve been waiting for another FP Book Club pick. My new year’s resolution is to FINISH at least one book a month (I’m notorious for starting and never finishing them). I planned to read the FP Book Club pick for each month, but there hasn’t been one since Big Magic. Do you plan to continue that series? I hope so because I think it’s such a wonderful idea, and I really enjoy reading everyone’s comments! :)

  9. Love this post! I am currently reading Notorious RBG…and Tapping the Source…and Angel Detox…and I am still working my way through the Marie Kondo book featured in the last FP book club.
    I’m Mary, and I am a bookaholic.

  10. Hi Tarryn! So glad you like the book club series. I’ll be back with another monthly book in March, but taking a break to do some personal reading. But check back each week in February for book-related posts!

  11. Megan B – did you listen to Neil Gaiman’s interview on Fresh Air recently? Really interesting. I started but never finished On The Road – I’ll have to pick it back up :)

  12. Indy – I have very fond memories tied to Perks, too. It’s a favorite of mine but I can’t bring myself to reread it lest my first impression of it be marred!

  13. I just voraciously read photographer Sally Mann’s memoir, Hold Still. I could not put it down. I love her photography and come to find out her writing is beautiful, as well. The only problem now is finding a book good enough to read next!

  14. One book that really made an impression on me was Night Film by Marisha Pessl. Kept me on the edge of my seat until the last page! There are few books that make such an impression on me as this one did :) Definitely check it out!

  15. I’m halfway through Marina by one of my favourite writers, Carlos Ruiz Zafon. If you love trilogies, read The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game and The Prisoner of Heaven by Zafon. His writing is so rich and compelling. There’s a bit of everything, mystery, romance, adventure … I’m hoping he adds a fourth to the group – they’re that good.

  16. I loooove anything by Gaiman! There’s an italian author, Francesco Dimitri, that writes in a similar way, my favourite book by him is ‘Pan’…I’m not sure if there’s an english translation yet, though.
    Lately I’ve only been reading books about India, or by Indian authors. Currently reading ‘Nine lives’ by Dalrymple, but one of my favourites is ‘Shantaram’ which I’m sure you’ve heard of, or anything by Rushdie (his stories also take place in between the real world and fantasy, a bit like Gaiman).

  17. Hey Julie,
    I just started Caleb Carr’s psychological thriller The Alienist and its wonderful! As soon as you said murder mystery this immediately popped into my head. It’s based on actual events so that makes it even more intriguing! Enjoy your reads!

    kaitlintraverse.com

  18. Being one who loves to travel, I decided to read “Eat Pray Love” and could not put it down for three days straight. I may have skipped a day or two of school to stay at home and read because it was just that good. A few weeks back, I read your posts on “Big Magic” and really felt the need to read it. It wasn’t until today that I realized that both “Eat Pray Love” and “Big Magic” are written by the same author! Now I’ve got to head to the store to buy “Big Magic”!

  19. Also, I strongly recommend “Tracks” by Robyn Davidson! It’s based on a true story. The main character, Robyn, decided to buy a few camels, train them and head off through the Australian Outback. It is an amazing read for those who enjoy traveling place to place with no official home.

  20. I’m currently reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Our lives parallel a lot. My mother died of cancer, my family broke apart when my stepdad remarried very quickly, and moved his new wife in with all her young kids. Her book has sucked me in completely.

    A favorite of mine is These Is My Words by Nancy Turner. Another is Island by Aldous Huxley (rocked my world, literally. Had me thinking about all sorts of new perspectives on religion, life, society.)

  21. I want to thank the Free People book club for introducing me to Jitterbug Perfume quite a few years ago! It’s one of those books that sticks with you forever and I actually try to live my life by it a little bit, even if it’s a fictional novel. This book opened up the doors to me of the beauty that is Tom Robbins. Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates is another favorite of mine by Tom Robbins.

    Stay curious & eat your beets.

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